Life After 60 YEARS OF SINNING (SOMETIMES QUITE INNOCENTLY)

Well, that’s it then. The Donald has gone. He has thrown his toys out of the pram and can now be found sulking on a sun-drenched golf course somewhere in deepest Florida. And to think that I have to put up with a cold, wet garden in Scotland whenever I fancy a good old sulk. At least it makes for noticeably short sulks. But one thing the Patron Saint of Fake Tan did before he left The White House and which really caught my imagination, was to pardon people. He pardoned lots of people in a completely over the top, self-indulgent, mass pardoning event.

And that got me wondering. Not, you understand, wondering about who I would pardon. No, quite the opposite. I began to wonder who might have the boundless kindness and incredible goodness of heart to gracefully pardon me. Because after 60-odd years of running around on the Earth and sinning, sometimes quite innocently but all too often knowingly and occasionally quite terribly, I am ashamed to admit that there are several people whose pardon I need to very humbly beg.

I’ll begin with my Granny. Now Granny is long dead, as you have probably guessed but I still come over all hot and cold with embarrassment when I remember rushing delightedly into her arms one snowy day and knocking her clean off her feet. Yes, she was winded and yes, her arm hurt quite a bit but despite the pain she managed to give me a wan smile and put her good arm around me whilst we waited for the ambulance to arrive. No lasting harm done thank heavens but I was nine years old and I should have known better than to hurl myself bodily at an elderly lady walking hesitantly along in the snow. I could have killed her. Please forgive me, Granny.

And I will never forget my utter shame at not having the courage to intervene when the class bad girls taunted our Latin teacher so mercilessly that she ran from the room in tears. I knew what they were doing and I knew what the desired outcome was and I did nothing to stop them. I did not join in of course but sat there meekly whilst they verbally abused a helpless middle-aged lady whose only crime was making her subject so boring that watching paint dry seemed like an entertaining alternative. Mea culpa indeed. I am so deeply sorry for my cowardice that day, Miss Williams.

Which probably brings us (chronologically speaking) to Richard Fuller. Now Richard rather fancied me although I couldn’t give two hoots about him. But my best friend Joanne did fancy him like mad. She trailed after him like an adoring puppy. (Still with me on this one?) Anyway, my 17-year-old self found it all very dizzying to be the object of such overwhelming attention and as a result I spent practically the whole evening locked in a snog-fest with the aforementioned Mr Fuller. I completely ignored the friend I had arrived with not to mention the embarrassing fact that it was really she who had first dibs on him.

I can’t say I enjoyed the experience very much and when I finally surfaced and went looking for Joanne to go home I discovered that she had already left. Our friendship was shattered. I had traded in a lovely friend for a night of snogging with a young man I didn’t even like. Lesson well and truly learned. A good friend is irreplaceable whilst the Richard Fullers of this world are ten a penny. Joanne, my behaviour that evening was truly selfish and unkind, could you please forgive me?

Next we come to the antique engagement ring which I tore from my finger during an argument and threw into a nearby river. Michael had given me his Grandmother’s lovely ruby and pearl engagement ring as a token of his undying love. Needless to say, his adoration did not long survive the flinging of the ring and we parted company soon afterwards. How he must have regretted bequeathing such an irreplaceable family heirloom to such an ungrateful recipient. And so in this particular case I must beg for two pardons; one from Michael and, equally importantly, one from his Grandmother.

Now we’re in lockdown again I find myself whiling away the odd afternoon on the internet doing some therapeutic shopping for items which I really do not need. Yes M&S, I am that person who regularly needs her own lorry-load of stuff sending north of the Border. Please forgive me for wasting such a lot of your staff’s time processing orders, handing parcels over in store and accepting most of them back again. I promise to go back to being a model customer just as soon as I can shake off this addiction to filling my basket and then proceeding to checkout.

But let me end with Katherine. Precious, sweet, gentle Katherine about whom, for very personal reasons, I cannot say more. Dear reader I beg your indulgence on this point but believe me when I say that I do not beg your forgiveness as much as I beg Katherine’s. She is truly the one person from whom I would love to receive a gracious and heartfelt pardon.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post from Border Belle, why not take at look at the others she has written HERE